Saturday, November 26, 2011

"The Emily-Case"

"Sorry, Emily"
On Wednesday, the day following my front page news headline and the immediate email response from SAFH (telling me, essentially, "we've only slightly changed our opinion on your mediocre education and work experience. You need more basic nursing student experiences), I was in the paper again. Twice. 

The first mention was a mini-editorial on page 2. It read:
GD brought yesterday the story of American Emily Stange struggling to obtain approval for her education from home. Years of work as a nurse and midwife is clearly not sufficient to resume training and practice in Norwegian working life. This is not a training example of how modern Norwegian society should take care of new citizens.

The Government has announced a parliamentary statement about integration. The notified measures for rapid recognition of immigrants' skills. Until the new decision is made it must nevertheless be allowed to use reason. The Emily-case is a good example of this.

So, that was nice. I've got the editors of the paper on my side. The "Emily-case". Makes me sound like a Law and Order episode.  Also got a few words of encouragement from the lady behind the counter at the new coffee shop, who recognized me from the paper! 

The second mention was a follow up article, written by the same journalist as the first. There are a few quotes from the communication director at SAFH, which I found interesting to learn that there was more than one person weighing in on this "case". I wasn't, however, entirely satisfied with the conclusion. Several people who read it were left to believe that everything was approved and all is A-OK. Not so.

Here's the article, again, according to the Gospel of Google Translate (with a few of my own editorialized comments for good measure):

We're sorry, Emily! (that makes it sound more apologetic than I think they really are)

The responsibility lies flat and regret that it has taken an unreasonably long time for Emily Stange to approve their education. Yesterday, she got an answer. (although not the one I was hoping for)

GD wrote Tuesday about the nurse and midwife Emily Stange from the United States. She has been waiting over a year to obtain approval for their education so that she can work in Norway.

"SAFH acknowledges that the appeal proceedings have beenunreasonably prolonged. This is not how it should be, and we regret this," says communications director, Magnus Karlsrud Dahlen.

He says that the authorization of health professionals trained outside the EU is a challenging task, more complicated than for applicants educated in European countries. (Here's an idea: TELL THE PEOPLE FROM OUTSIDE THE EU THAT IT TAKES MORE TIME FOR THEM).

"Documents must be verified and training be reviewed to ensurethat the applicant has an equivalent education with an similar Norwegian education," he says. (does equivalent mean identical?)

They pointed out that the procedure for Stange in the first halfwas completed within the specified three to four months. (yes, but taking 4 months to not even read the application correctly the first time, when it clearly was documented in multiple places that I had a 4-year degree, and not a 2-year degree as you stated, doesn't seem like a good use of your 4 months). It is for the processing of the complaint office lie flat and acknowledges that the waiting time has been unreasonably long. (it should also be noted that my second application was not actually sent to the "complaint" office, or so we were told, since they had f*#@ed it up so much the first time).

AFH has initiated a review of procedures and organization.(No idea what AFH is). The goal is that all matters, including complaints, should be treatedmore efficiently and with better quality.

"We want to offer health care personnel who are seeking authorization and license in Norway, a thorough and predictable procedure," said Karlsrud Dahlen.

For Emily Stange some extra practice is required before her education can be approved. (and before they will even consider her application to be a midwife, which is really what she wants to do for employment).

What's next?
Stay tuned. . . I'm trying not to think too much about this right now, and am actually doing a good job at it--until I sit down and blog. 

(Although those of you from Norway who are reading this blog and not commenting. . . if you have any opinions, thoughts, have heard of similar situations, know of someone who dealt with something like this:  Please let me know! I'd really appreciate it).


  1. Aw, Emily. It's a crying shame that they won't approve you to work as a midwife. While the extra time with your sweet girl must be awesome, I know that the women of Norway would be better served for having had you as their midwife. All kinds of prayers and good thoughts being sent your way. I hope this gets resolved for you soon. - Melyssa L.

  2. I'm really glad you did this interview! Norway needs to stand up and open it's eyes to all the clever/talented/useful immigrants and treat us well!
    Lykke til1

  3. I second the comments made by Melyssa and Lisa. It's just so stupid that the authorities have trapped you in this bureaucratic black hole and are not utilizing your skills, experience, and passion for your work. What a waste! I'm really sorry you're still dealing with this mess and I hope you don't give up! Do you have any idea when you can start doing the clinical work they're demanding of you?